Introduction to R and Python

R Rstudio Python Welcome

This post serves as a discussion board for the first tab in the ML4PP course: Introduction to R and Python and, of course, a general welcome to the course.

Michelle González Amador (UNU-MERIT and Maastricht University)


We know starting a new programming language can be challenging. Hopefully, you were able to follow the brief R and Python introductory tutorials. If you found difficulties, feel free to leave a message here.

Script elegance

The two introductory scripts, for R and Python, are meant to give you a quick glimpse of the language. They’re by no means elegant. Perhaps a few standard points that were not discussed in the tutorial but that you can take away if you decide to write a script:

The list above is not exhaustive, and I am far from an expert on this particular topic. Nonetheless, I hope it is helpful, and that you’ll learn more and better ways to keep your script up to standard!

A final thought

For R, the Rstudio IDE is excellent and free (open source!). However, Python doesn’t have a default user interface. PyCharm is a popular IDE, but it is not free. Personally, I enjoy using Visual Studio Code (and I recommend it), because it is free (hooray!) and it has lots of plugins that are quite helpful. Jupyter Notebook (stands for Julia-Python-R) is also free, user-friendly, and quite popular. For those of you not averse to working with Google products, you can also use the Collaboratory to write scripts. Ultimately, this is a personal preference. Choose wisely and happy coding!